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Let the little children come!

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’

Matthew 19:14

As parents, we hope to raise our children in such a way that one day they will make the decision to accept Christ as their Saviour and follow him. We give our children opportunities to meet and experience Jesus through various ways such as, saying prayers before meals and bedtime, praying for others, reading Bible stories, acts of kindness, etc., basically our goal is to train our children in the way they should go. These are great things to point our children in the right direction to become Christ-followers, but it is just a start.

Just take a moment and think to yourself, how many times have you talked to your child about the Holy Spirit? I could probably count on one hand or even just a couple of fingers how many times I have. I will admit, my focus is usually on prayer and reading our Bible, and we talk about Christ in the context of him being our Saviour and about his sacrifice on the cross so that we would be saved, and how much he loves us; but what about the Holy Spirit? Even in Sunday school, I have noticed the lack of teaching of the Holy Spirit in various curriculums. It is so easy to teach our children about God and Jesus, but when it comes to the Holy Spirit how on earth do you explain that to a 3-year-old, or a 7-year-old, or even a young teenager. Have we shied away from it because we think it may be harder to explain the Holy Spirit, or for a child to grasp the concept? Do we not talk about it as much because we are worried it may scare our child to say something along the lines of there is this person known as the Holy Spirit that will live inside us? (Try explaining that one to a child!) Or is it simply just because we don’t think about the Holy Spirit as often as we think of God or Jesus so it doesn’t naturally come to mind to teach others about Him. Why is it that we tend to not focus on this important element of our faith?

Children, just like adults, benefit from the opportunity to learn about, and experience the Holy Spirit. We are very excited to be providing this opportunity for our children at The Bridge. You have heard Pastor Chris mention the upcoming Holy Spirit Encounter weekend, March 2-4th. We believe it is important, and we desire for children to experience the Holy Spirit and be a part of this weekend with the adults. Therefore, we have prepared an entire children’s program. The children’s programming is appropriate for ages 2-12, and although older youth are encouraged to take part in the HSE weekend in the main sessions, we are hoping they will consider helping throughout the weekend with the children, as the children’s programming will be beneficial for them as well. We are hopeful that childcare for ages 0-2 in the Nursery will be available as well for majority of the weekend.

You may be thinking that this is a really long weekend for a family with children, but we do not want that to hinder or hold you back from attending. We have a program in place that will allow adequate rest and downtime, free time and snacks, but most importantly different teaching and stations that will allow children to experience the Holy Spirit in ways that are geared towards their age range. Don’t be worried about nap times, don’t be worried about your children being bored, don’t be worried about overstimulation. We have worked hard to create a balanced weekend for your children and we want to accommodate and work with you to ensure that you can make it to this life-changing event.

In order to prepare the children for this encounter we are going to begin teachings of the Holy Spirit beginning mid-February, by first seeing what level of understanding our children have of the Holy Spirit, and then teaching them about this third person in the trinity, and talking about God’s design that the Holy Spirit dwell inside our lives. Then we will move into the HSE weekend, and I have included a draft schedule below that will hopefully leave you feeling encouraged to have your children be a part of this weekend.

Friday, March 2nd, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

  1. Quick review of teaching from the past few weeks (6:30pm)

  2. Anticipation without Expectation and Prayer (6:45pm)

  3. Explain to children that God reveals himself in different ways and that He will speak to us through different things such as colours, numbers, pictures, ‘video scenarios’

  4. Lead the children in prayer, asking God to reveal himself over the weekend, and that we would hear from him

  5. Listening Time & Sharing

  6. Worship & Paint (7:00pm) – The children will listen to worship music and paint what they feel or hear.

  7. PJ Party (7:30pm) – Movie, snacks and downtime. We will have cushions available if younger children fall asleep.

Saturday, March 3, 9:00am – 5:00pm

  1. Help Me Find Him Lesson (9:00am) – Understanding the work of the Holy Spirit in Our Lives

  2. Games/Activities that teach on the Holy Spirit (9:30am)

  3. Morning Snack (10:30am)

  4. Throne Chair & Listening Time (11:00am) – We will be creating a couple environments that provide children with the opportunity to take turns sitting in the Throne Chair and imagining they are sitting on God’s lap, allowing them to think about what God what to say to them, we want the kids to dream and hear from God. There will also be a relaxing, comfortable environment set up for them to just listen and hopefully experience hearing from the Holy Spirit.

  5. Free Time/Nap Time (11:30am)

  6. Lunch (12:30pm)

  7. Forgiveness and the Holy Spirit Lesson (1:30pm)

  8. Games/Activities that teach on the Holy Spirit (2:00pm)

  9. Free Time (Movies, Games, Crafts, etc. (2:30pm – 5:00pm) - Childcare will be provided.

  10. Afternoon Snack (3:00pm)

*Please note we will accommodate scheduled nap times for younger children.

Sunday, March 4th, 10:30am – 3:30pm

  1. Sunday morning service (10:30am) - Sunday school for children ages 0-5. Elementary aged children will remain in the service with their parents.

  2. The Good Fruit of the Holy Spirit Lesson (1:30pm)

  3. Listening & Sharing (2:00pm)

  4. Love Blasts (2:30pm) We will have the adults pray and then listen to the Holy Spirit about individual children, and provide children with encouraging words.

  5. Free Time (3:00pm)

You may be looking at the schedule and feeling overwhelmed. Alternatively, you may be thinking that having children, especially young children might hold you back from attending this weekend, but we encourage you to give it another thought. We understand that routine is important, especially with younger children, but sometimes it is worth it to remember that breaking routine is ok and for an experience such as this weekend, we think it just may be worth it! We want to collaborate together with parents to make this work for your family, so that you all have the opportunity to experience an encounter with the Holy Spirit.

“The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.”

A.W. Tozer

(Children too!)

So please join us, we look forward to seeing you all there. If you have concerns or questions, or just want more information regarding this weekend please contact Debbie Brown.

#HolySpirit #SpecialEvents #Children

The Bridge Church

of the Christian and Missionary Alliance

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(204) 888-1887

(204) 888-0008

620 Oxbow Bend Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2G1, Canada

©2018 by The Bridge Church.